Govt forest land allotted to private persons, IAS officer in soup

Karnataka government has initiated proceedings against a 2001 batch IAS officer who was the deputy commissioner of Chamarajanagar district for passing “illegal orders allotting forest land to private people”.

MV Savithri, now the MD of Karnataka State Small Industries Development Corporation, was at the centre of a huge land row in her earlier tenure as DC of Chamarajanagar in 2013 — allotment of 1,360.25 acre of the prime forest land around the famous Gaganachukki and Barachukki water falls to some individuals.

She has been issued a notice by the chief secretary listing all the allegations and asked to reply.

On December 22, the notice issued under Rule 8 of All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules 1969 to hold an inquiry against the officer said (BM has accessed the copy): “It is the prime duty of the DC to safeguard government land. But, rather than doing this, Savithri herself has taken a stand against the interest of government and conferred rights to private persons over government land. By her order on July 8, 2013, Savithri has not only created an opportunity to the private individuals to acquire government land by creating false documents but she has also caused huge financial loss to the government exchequer.’’

Savithri who was deputy commissioner of Chamarajanagara district from February to September 2013, was in the eye of the controversy for granting ownership rights of 1,360 acre of forest land to some applicants — in survey number 1 and 174 Sattegala village, rejecting the assistant commissioner’s order.

The assistant commissioner, Kollegal, had clearly put it in writing that the land in question belonged to forest department and was a part of Shivanasamudra forest as per revenue records.

But after assuming charge as DC, Savithri directed the AC to declare all the lands as government lands and make necessary entries to that effect in the revenue records, thus changing the status of the land from “forest” to “kharab’’.

The then Mysuru regional commissioner M V Jayanthi (currently Bengaluru regional commissioner) who probed into the land allotment, found Savithri at fault, held her responsible for altering the status of forest land, illegal allotment and submitted a detailed report to the government.

Among the witnesses in support of the charges against the IAS officer are MLC from Mysuru G Madhusudan, Jayanthi and former additional secretary, revenue department M D Ravindranath.

Credits Bangalore Mirror

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